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Throwback Thursdays – Persian Pickles

What’s old is new again, and in this case, what’s really old is once again trending high. The persian pickle motif is also known as the Welsh pear design. The most common name though, is Paisley. Paisley is a teardrop-shaped motif of Persian and Indian origin and has been used since AD224. Wow – that’s really old.

the paisley shoppe

 

avanti fabrics


Paisley shawls, imported during the 17th century, from the East India Company to Europe became the rage. Soon many European countries were copying this centuries old design, but the town of Paisley, Scotland became the foremost producers. Hence the name association.
elledecor

Paisley has influenced many designs around the globe. Paisley became very fashionable during the Victorian times as well dressed men and women wore this pattern. William Morris furthered paisley’s popularity with his wallpapers and through his work, it became known as somewhat bohemian. 
contemporary chair

In the 1960s it was the Beatles who propelled paisley back in fashion. They fuelled the interest in Indian spiritualism and this included the use of colourful paisley designs. 
the paisley shoppe
elle décor

Paisley is one of the most recognizable patterns in the world. We’re seeing it show up again very strong on the runway and in home decor. Considering it’s been around for centuries, it really can be called a classic. 
elle décor
house and home

And just because it’s super old, doesn’t mean it’s old fashioned. Paisley works in all decors and is right at home in classic design as well as modern.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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The Mid-Century Modern Breakdown

Karenfron
This fancy masterpiece was created by our junior designer, Taegan Rubert, for a recent assignment. Do some images look familiar to you? Mid-century modern design is having a resurgence. It’s clean lines and functionality are becoming sought after. Dive right in and read up on the history of how it came to be. Since this was originally created by Rubert as a poster, the fine print is difficult to read, so we’ve included it here.

Blast from the Past

During the post war period, America became the major exporter of modern design and design theory. The so-called American way of life, or American Dream, influenced all areas of life both here and abroad. Images of America became icons of an ideal and affluent lifestyle. Organic design became popular during this period, largely due to a design competition called “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The prize was awarded to Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames for their organically curved wooden shell chair. Along with Saarinen and Eames, Harry Bertoia became a leader in this new organic style. One of the most important designers of this period was Raymond Loewy. He was the first designer to base his work on market analysis and introduced his products to the market by way of large-scale advertising campaigns.

Loewy also reworked and styled many existing products to give them a newer, more attractive exterior, which in turn would make them more appealing to the consumer and thus increase sales. The flowing lines of organic design were thought to have a better relationship to the human body. Designers, such as Eames, believed that furniture should fit the human form and be comfortable. Eames’ design credo was “Get the most out of the best to the greatest number of people for the least.”

Have a sunny and wonderful weekend!


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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It’s all about Green.

Are you embracing your inner Irish today? Green clothing, green hats and maybe some green beer? Let’s raise a cheer to all things Irish and look at the colour green.

Green is soothing and restful on the eye. It relaxes both mentally and physically. According to a study conducted by Dulux, blue is the favourite colour world-wide, but green is right behind.

Green is so versatile. It can be dressed up and very formal, or laid back and cozy. There are so many shades that there’s a green that makes everyone feel good. Like black and white, green is always on trend, but never trendy. It’s everywhere in nature, so it’s always popular.

There are no bad or wrong shades of green, but the trick for a great looking room is to mix it up properly. You wouldn’t want to use mossy earth tones with lime green. However, a few accents of fresh spring green will bring any room to life.

Not sure about green? Try a few toss cushions, or an small piece like a bowl or vase. Adding a fresh green plant will give your space a sense of renewal and new life.

When painting walls, green is a great colour to use. It doesn’t have to be full on green, but can be a colour with a slight green undertone.

An absolute favourite paint colour is PPG’s Sharkskin 513-5. It’s a warm grey with a slight green undertone. It’s perfect for those that want a grey colour, but don’t want it to be cold.  A few others to try are:

 

Green is great, green is nature’s colour and green means spring is around the corner. So tip-of-the-hat to the Irish today and all things green.

Like this post? You may want to take a look at:

Feeling the Colour
Colour is Showing up Everywhere
Colour or Not


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Quote Round Up & Instagram Love

If you’re not on instagram already, download the fancy app here. You won’t regret it!

Why we love the insta –
1. It’s just that! Insta! Instant, quick, and easy to use.
2. Instagram is perfect for visual people like designers and artists because it’s similar to Facebook but with no silly posts, less words, and ALL images.
3. Thanks to those fab filters, everything looks beautiful. And who doesn’t like to scroll through some gorgeous snap shots while you’re waiting at the doc office or lounging around on your lazy sunday?

Don’t forget to FOLLOW us so you can keep up to date on our quotes and stunning snap shots.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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10 Design Classics

What’s with all the ugly, cheap furniture on the market today? I know we live in a throwaway society that promotes new and shiny over long-lasting quality, but it’s always a good idea to buy the best you can afford.

If you’re going to invest in a few quality pieces, here’s a list of our 10 favourites.

These pieces have truly have stood the test of time. They always bring a classic elegance to any space, no matter whether you choose the traditional or modern version. Good design, unlike fashionable design, will last a long time. Good design is worth investing in.

And you know what goes great with a cup of tea and rearranging your furniture? Some good tunes to sing along to… remember this one? Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits This is another must have. Enjoy the remaining of your weekend!


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Dust off your hidden treasures.

We just came back home after being away for a few days. The boys always unload the luggage while I sneak into the house alone. Unlocking the door and stepping in to my own space always gives me the best feeling. It’s like getting a big long hug. It happens every time. There’s something so awesome about stepping into my space, and being surrounded by things that make me happy. It’s pure emotion. It’s about colour and texture and yes about things. Beautiful things,\.things that make me happy.


Let me say right now that I am not overly attached to any item in my home. Do you play the game? I play the game. If you had two minutes to grab what’s important what would you take? Me…nothing. Except the kids and husband. But because they’re so smart, they’d be waiting outside already. So there it is, I love my things, but I’m not overly attached to them. There’s so much beauty in the world that I know I could fill any space with stuff that makes me happy.


Is your home filled with objects that bring a smile? I hope your wall colour makes you feel good. When you look around do you see pieces that bring fond memories? This is what it’s about.

The rock you collected on your trip to Nova Scotia…place it on a stack of books. Your aunt’s teapot – put it on the coffee table. Every time you look at it you’ll remember that she let you use the good china when everyone else thought you were too young.


We can all admire good design and pretty decor, but your home must speak to you on a deeper level. It’s all about emotion. It’s about telling your story and having a place to display what makes you happy. What does make you happy? Figure it out.

I have a job for you to do before spring sets in. Clean out your cupboards and closets. That’s right…dig through all the stuff. Dust off those trip souvenirs, find your favourite books, frame that love note…if it brings a smile to your face, put it where you can see it. And never ever keep stuff just because you think you should. Someone gave you something, but you don’t like it…donate it. Be honest, be brutal and purge, purge purge.


And don’t buy ugly. Really. There’s beauty in everything…useful things. I love my coffee mugs, my fluffy bath towels, my cutting board. Creamers and bowls…I have a special weakness for these. They make me happy. Having exactly the right size and colour bowl gives me such a thrill. I have lugged bowls home from Holland and Germany that cost next to nothing, just because I liked the shape. They make me happy.

Now get cleaning and weed out the good stuff and quickly get rid of the bad and the ugly. Let someone else worry about it. You need to live in beauty.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Chaos to masterpiece.


It’s style day at our client’s home. The large pieces were delivered a few days prior, and now it’s time to put it all together. This is the part we love. At first it’s all bags and loads of accessories. It doesn’t look too good. It’s actually hard to move around in the space, and there’s stuff everywhere. But shortly the magic is about to begin.

All renovations have been done before today. We’ve made a floor plan and large furnishings, chosen for function and beauty, are sitting in place. Today is the day to do pretty. Sometimes our clients like to be there for the process, but many times they let us do our thing and come home once their space has been transformed. It’s always so fun to see their reactions.


Although it may look unorganized, there is method to the process. There are simple design principles that every space needs. Most important in a room is balance. It has to feel right. There has to be a balance between large and small, square and curvy and masculine and feminine. Scale and proportion come next. Furnishings and accents have to be in the proper scale or again, the room won’t feel good.


Colour is so very important. Every room needs some warm and cool. A room that is all warm colours will feel choking. All cool colours and it just feels frosty. Sometimes it’s fun to throw in a colour that’s just a little off so it looks interesting. Chartreuse or raspberry are good colours to add for a jolt.


Within every home, there must be harmony, a natural flow from room to room. That doesn’t mean it all has to look the same, but it certainly has to work together. Focal point, rhythm, repetition, these all must be considered when designing and styling a space. As the cushions get unpacked and the accent tables put in place, we’re following good design principles. There’s a lot that goes into it.


Because we love our client so much, we styled up her home and helped her bring in extra seating for the baby shower she was hosting the next day. So no after pictures right now. We’ll get some of those when the chairs and teacups and shower decorations are taken down.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Freshen up your space and fall in love with it again.

 

CoolCalm


January has come and gone already, so some would say the worst part of winter is over. Us Calgary folk know that we have a lot of indoor days yet. I figure if you’re spending a lot of time at home, it should be in a space that’s enjoyable. There’s no reason to live in ugly – none whatsoever. We always say, ‘ugly costs just as much as pretty’. So roll up your sleeves and let’s get the pretty party started.

First on the menu is a really good clean. Honestly, how can anything be pretty if it’s dirty. Get out the soap and water and scrub away. The added benefit is that while scrubbing, you’ll probably tidy. Sort through all the piles and put it away… in it’s home…out of sight. Now that everything is fresh and clean and sparkly, you can start doing pretty. Look out the (clean) window and see the snow filled, barren landscape. It’s time to surround yourself with something green.

 

First


Fresh greenery will have your place looking alive. We’re using a lot of orchids to style with because they’re so elegant and really an easy flower to grow. We’re also using Boston ferns, ficus trees, English Ivy, cast iron plants, and umbrella trees. Adding greens to a space will make it look current and fresh. Warning…this is important. Do Not have ugly, half dead plants. Never ever. And remember the rule, Poinsettia plants must be disposed of by January 15 at the latest. Really…it’s true.

 

3rdlast


What’s the difference between a show home and a real home? Show homes don’t have a soul. They don’t have important objects that give off good energy. We really believe that every beautiful home needs to have collections of rocks, personal photos, meaningful books and handcrafted items. Artfully displaying items that have sentimental value is so important.

 

2ndlast


Don’t keep treasures hidden away. Group collections and display mementos. There’s a real art to arranging shelves and coffee tables. Last week in a client’s home we displayed their beautiful tea cup and saucers from Italy. To keep the collection from looking scattered, we contained them in a sleek black tray. For years the dainty tea set was tucked away at the back of a kitchen cupboard, now it sits in the centre of the dining room table.

 

LAST


The easiest way to freshen up a space is to throw in pops of colour. Adding a few new cushions on the sofa will completely change the look of a room. Don’t go all matchy matchy either. Mix patterns, colours and textures.  It’s a good time to update bathroom towels and kitchen linens too.

Our homes need constant care and attention. Putting forth a little effort to keep our spaces looking good is so worth it. When we live in a space that feels good, so do we.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Radiant Orchid for 2014

Pantone has just released their 2014 colour of the year and it’s Radiant Orchid.  Yes, that’s purple…wow. Not a colour that I was expecting, but it’s growing on me. If you’ve been to any men’s wear store lately, then you’ve seen lots of purple shirts and ties. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director to the Pantone Colour Institute, says it’s a colour that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination.

via lonny magazine
via lonny magazine
Purple has long been a colour associated with creativity and originality. Radiant Orchid is a delicate combination of fuchsia, purple and pink. It’s a vibrant colour and sure to spruce up greys which are so popular for today’s interiors.
via lonny magazine
via lonny magazine
It’s always interesting to see what Pantone picks as colour of the year. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be seeing this colour used everywhere, all the time. What it does mean, is that this colour is showing up as an influence globally. Radiant Orchid was chosen because it inspires confidence and symbolizes great joy.
www.pantone.com
www.pantone.com
During a seminar put on by Eiseman, she explained that great care goes into picking the colour of the year. The colour is important not only for what it is visually, but for what it inspires us to be. So let’s have an early toast to 2014, a creative and joyful year!


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Classic kitchen

It’s no secret that white kitchens are my favourite…white cabinets combined with white countertop and backsplash looks fresh, clean and classic.

elle décor

 

marthastewart.com

 

White cabinets with black granite looks lovely too if the black is repeated. Love the floor in this pic and the black lighting. Combined with the glass doors and warm wood, it is stunning.
eric roth kitchen

 

Either way, you won’t regret going with a classic white kitchen. When choosing hard surfaces, it’s important not to fall victim to trends and fads. While you want to have a current look, you don’t want to be oh so 2013.

 


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.